Colorblind Men Suffer under LED Lights

I’ve got a laptop and I’m writing this story down on it right now. It has three little LED lights shining steadily and one blinking on an USB device. But which color are they?

A lot of LED lights are used to show you different states of just anything. Either its on or off, connected or not, loaded or empty, working or on hold, not loading or loading, and more. Right now I can think of several devices in my household which have LED lights on them to show me just anything and everything: stereo, router, electrical toothbrush, electrical razor, sawing machine, digital camera and of course my laptop.

Red and Green LED

Red and Green LED by Sebastian Yepes

All of those LEDs want to tell me something, but I can’t see it. Due to my color blindness I just don’t see the difference between those green, red, orange and yellow shades. I can distinguish the blue ones from all the colors above, but this combination is unfortunately not often used.

Have a look at this very nice picture taken by Sebastian Yepes F. He says that this picture is made by a red and a green LED light. I can’t see them.

I mean, I can see the colored circles, but aren’t they in some shades of orange, or maybe yellow, or—oh I don’t know.

LED Rainbow

LED Rainbow by Andrew Hoyer

Or this nice rainbow taken by Andrew Hoyer. Shall I listen the colors I can see: red (or brown?), red (or orange or what?), green (or yellow or still orange), then brighter blue, blue, darker blue.

I definitely like the first three. Unfortunately this are the ones most often used inside electrical devices—which are not designed for the colorblind.

So dear manufacturers of things including LED lights which should tell me something: Please either use blue combined with yellow, which should be differentiable by everyone, or use blinking and non blinking LED lights. Colorblind persons have huge problems with all those little lights in green, yellow, orange and red. And as there are up to 10% of all men colorblind, this is definitely something to think about.

By the way, I never know it the batteries are loaded on my laptop or not just by looking at the battery LED. I either just plug it long enough or ask my not colorblind wife :-)